Ascent of Grand Traverse on 2020-10-02

Climber: Whiley Hall

Others in Party:Ben Feinstein
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, October 2, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Grand Traverse
    Elevation:13041 ft / 3974 m

Ascent Trip Report

North & Grand Traverse + Palomino Point, Valhalla, Snow, & 12,485:
This weekend I felt like being a big Gore whore in the range that shall soon be renamed. I tend to forget this place exists even though it is the closest range with 13,000 ft peaks to where I live. Anyway, the Grand Traverse is tons of fun and everyone should do it! We wanted to push that fun limit until it no longer became fun (adding Snow and 12,485 is where the fun factor stopped). We had a shuttle system going up Bighorn Creek Trail and down Deluge Lake Trail.
We followed the lovely Bighorn Creek Trail and after passing a newly renovated cabin we headed left on a social trail through a large meadow and ascended to Bighorn Pass up a mix of steep grass, boulders, & talus (C2). From the pass it’s C2+ up the north ridge to North Traverse’s summit.
Viewing the ridge from North to Grand Traverse is daunting but have no fear, it is much easier than it appears. You can ramp up the spice level by staying ridge proper and can make it mild by repeatedly dropping to the west to bypass towers. Our route included a lot of C3 scrambling on mostly solid rock. There was one section after the first major tower/notch where we chose to climb up a C4 chimney that had a C3 down climb to the other side. Route finding was not difficult and the scenery was mind blowing in all directions. The final section to the summit of Grand Traverse includes delightful C3 scrambling to the top.
There are many bail options en route if needed and the southeast slopes looked very easy to descend to Deluge Lake if you feel you’ve had your fill after Grand Traverse. If you like to punish yourself then continue on adding more peaks like we did.
Palomino Point was the highlight of the day for me, my favorite summit peering down an awe-inspiring slabby and complex ridge to the east. I could not stop staring at it.
Palomino was a bit of a puzzle to figure out the best route. The south side provides the easiest access with a C2+ scramble to reach a catwalk to the summit. Unranked 13ers are the shit. Vadimy you’re missin out.
There was nothing noteworthy from Palomino to Valhalla. The ridge between Valhalla and Snow Pass was also very straightforward, other than the last 0.2 miles being complete crap! This part felt like I was in a time warp and took forever on kitty litter dirt and scree.
The ascent up Snow is mostly C2 boulder hopping until just below the summit, where it turns to C2+ on giant boulders. We descended back to Snow Pass then down the loose trail until it spits you out at a large boulder field. We aimed for a cabin near Deluge Lake and then found the trail from there. Totally dead at this point we somehow mustered up the strength to tag on a bonus 12er (mostly so we would never have to go on the Deluge Lake Trail ever again if we didn’t want to). From the Deluge Lake Trail we went west on steep grass and scree to gain the saddle southwest of 12,485. Then scrambled C2+ across the ridge to the summit and back. Deluge Lake Trail is not all easy breezy downhill flying to get back to your car at the end of a long day, be prepared to take on a good amount of uphill on the way out.
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Whiley Hall
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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